Thursday, 19 February 2009

back on board

Well, it was nice to be back on board, after not having been down to the boat since the new year.

The intention was to get the insulation fitted to the pipe work for the Eberspacher, and this was largely completed.

There is a total of about 18m of pipework, and I reckon that I've done about 12m, but crucially, done the 12 most difficult ones, so well on the way.

I've used a foil coated bubblewrap insulation, readily available from DIY stores, along with an aluminium foil tape, and loads of ultra long cable ties.... has cost me about £35, compared to the £150 it would have cost to use proper Eberspacher lagging.

As part of the exercise, I also replaced a length of pipe.... in M's cabin, one length of about 50cm is exposed, and inevitably has been somewhat crushed through accidental knocks.... its impossible to run it in a more protected location, so I have replaced it with a length of 110mm soil pipe.... this is pretty heat proof, and obviously crush proof, so a much better option. It wasn't however, without its challenges. The pipe ran from one bulkhead to another, and the Eberspacher pipe at 100mm is a bit smaller, so I spent a good 2 hours filing holes to get the soil pipe to fit. Eventually, with some assistance from a hammer, I acheived an 'interference' fit, so its good and secure.... the second challenge was fitting 100mm pipe to 110mm pipe.... I cut small slits in the flexible pipe, and then 'stretched' it over the soil pipe.... with extensive use of the foil tape, and then cable ties, I have a good robust joint that is airtight....

I think that the previous failures to start that I had with the Eberspacher have been related to this length of damaged pipe, for when I looked at the removed section, it was largely completely obstructed, with the inner having collapsed, so I think that the airflow was heavily restricted.

I trial fired the Eber up, and it ran beautifully, first go, and was noticeably warmer at the far vents. I reckon that when the insulation is finished, it'll run for much less time, as it warmed the boat up in less than half the time previously experienced.

Only other thing to report is that one of the stern lines was a little loose, and unfortunately, the bow has just 'kissed' the pontoon once or twice, and managed to knock a very small chunk of gelcoat off... so another repair job... its nothing serious, but a bit annoying!

I am in discussions with a friend who bought a boat last year, which was fitted with both SSB and watermaker, neither of which he is particularly bothered about keeping..... will see if we can come to a mutually acceptable deal, in which case, I'll have more goodies to fit, plus a few other jobs to do, such as fitting an aerial, ground plate, and doing my LRC exam.

Weather is improving rapidly, so optimistic for some sailing soon....

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